I am a horrible swimmer. When I am immersed in water I would describe my movements as ‘not drowning’ rather than ‘swimming.’ I don’t really mind this fact when I am in a pool––predictable conditions and reasonable depth. But when I get myself into the ocean, things get a little more interesting for me––unpredictable waves and depth.
It’s not like I haven’t been enjoying my time out in the water, quite the contrary. I rode in the waves of my job, graduation, fun classes and my 18th birthday pretty smoothly. But the minute I got back out I got hit with the waves of stress from managing a job, school, family responsibilities and ministry; keeping up friendships; writing; and worrying about the future.
There are ideas, dreams and realizations that seem to be hitting my mind and heart all at once. Some of them correlate with my personal life–job, writing, school, relationships–while others are on a more broad scale–my country, the impending zombie Apocalypse (just kidding…sort of), news items, pop-culture.
Those thoughts are all up there, making it a rather difficult job to focus on just one thing. I write in order to think, and right now I have countless documents all with a few unfinished sentences and underdeveloped ideas spread out over the page; I cannot seem to figure my thoughts out much less finish a blog post on it.
I am flailing my arms to try and keep my head above the water where I’ll get a gasp of air––clarity––only to get dashed by another wave of question.
“You cannot find time for prayer, you have to make time for prayer.”
That word of encouragement, that challenge by a speaker (Josiah Cruz) on Sunday night really touched my heart. I have been realizing that it is completely and totally impossible for me to “figure out” everything going on in my mind and life on my own. It takes the power of God, the clarity of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus to bring my mind into focus.
I have been shoving prayer to the side. I have been ignoring the person who knows how to best help me sort things out. As I talk with Jesus, he directs my focus to the things that are actually important, and he gives me the insight I need in order to figure out what to think and do as a result.
“Let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Psalm 32:6-8 (ESV)
I am cutting through the choppy water with direction, successfully ducking through waves and learning how to time my breathing.
I am going to make the time for prayer. I am going to stop avoiding my wise Father in Heaven. I am going to trust that it is through his wisdom that I will make it through these unsure waters.